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Catch up with some great TV shows on demand/DVD

Posted on March 20th, 2012
Posted on March 20th, 2012

by Coop

Many consumers know that nearly every popular TV show ever created can be found on DVD or online, but some do not take advantage of this opportunity. They may prefer to catch the more current shows on the networks as we have always watched them, or recorded from a service like Tivo. Unfortunately, many people are missing out on some great shows simply because they don’t have cable stations like HBO or Showtime. Some foreign shows are only available on DVD or a service like Netflix or Hulu +. Here are some reasons why you might want to try to catch these older series online or on DVD/Blu Ray…

Years ago I watched the first season of “Lost” on network TV, but completely missed several of the opening episodes of the second season due to other commitments. I loved the show but had missed too much to catch up, plus it would’ve been at least another year before it was released on DVD, then I would have to play catch up again for the next season. Also, I would have forgotten what had already happened on the show and would have been confused. Then the show ended its run and I felt like I had missed out on the experience.

A few years later I saw a commercial that announced the entire series was now available on DVD and I decided to take the plunge and immerse myself in the show, starting from the beginning, watching each episode back-to-back. I queued the DVDs in Netflix and thus began the greatest television marathon I ever experienced. I’m sure if I had watched “Lost” from week to week as it had aired, I wouldn’t have been able to follow it as well as I did watching one or more episodes per night. I finished it quickly and felt it was a rewarding experience to watch TV this way, so I was eager to find something comparable.

And that’s when I discovered “The Prisoner” series on Netflix. I was hooked.

This works best with TV shows that have running story-lines, requiring you to watch them in order. I’ve been told by dozens of people that HBO’s “The Wire” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” are two of the best series ever filmed so I’m giving them a shot next. I usually give a show about three episodes to engage me and if that fails, I will abandon it and move onto another one.

Some of my recent favorites on Netflix were “Game of Thrones,” “Dexter,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Misfits,” and “Justified.” If you don’t have a Netflix account, the next best bet is to watch them online using Hulu +, iTunes or a number of other streaming services. You can also find deals on seasons or full series DVDs at Wal-Mart, Best Buy or other retail sources. Honestly, Netflix is far cheaper than that option, even with their recent price hikes. Many gaming systems like Xbox 360, the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii all have convenient options for downloading internet content, like TV shows, for later viewing.

These are your best choices for narrative TV series viewing since the glut of content on the airwaves consists of brainless reality shows and repetitive (not to mention, increasingly annoying) commercials. You may also discover some amazing shows that you missed, leading to recommendations for even better ones. Get opinions from friends and family and give a series a try. When you find a terrific one, it’s like a movie you continue watching from night to night, making you look forward to seeing what happens next without the long wait for the next episodes or seasons.

Still not convinced? Prepare to get used to the next generation of TV viewing: Networks are gravitating towards this idea of “TV on demand.” Services like Tivo are cutting out the commercials which is their main source of revenue. Pretty soon, you may choose your TV shows on demand and exclusively by menu instead of the allotted time slots they appear in now. An internet connection will be required to watch and the option to skip commercials using Tivo will be eliminated. Subscription prices will inflate and more draconian restrictions will be invented to prevent piracy and loss of revenue. Surfing the channels might become a relic of the past and TV will become an expensive and irritating version of YouTube. Maybe renting old shows doesn’t sound like a bad idea after all.

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